Baptism — New Life!
July 29, 2021
This past weekend we were able to celebrate the baptism of people who have accepted Jesus Christ as the forgiver of their sins and the leader of their lives. This is what NewPointe is all about—helping people come to a full commitment to Christ and the new life He offers.
We believe baptism is a significant part of your journey. I wanted to share with you what baptism really means and why we believe it is important. Baptism is an act in which a Christian is immersed in water to symbolize the end of an old way of living, and a new start. When you get baptized, it is a testimony to God and people that you, by faith, will live a new life as an overcomer.
Why do we believe it’s important to be baptized?
- To Follow Christ. Jesus Himself was baptized. He was not a sinner, yet He humbled Himself to identify with us and give us an example to follow. At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.” Mark 1:9 MSG
- To Obey. Water baptism is obedience to the commands of Christ. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
- To Make a Public Declaration. Baptism declares that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a public confession of your faith in and commitment to Jesus. It is the next step after salvation through repentance and faith and is an important foundation for Christian life.
What is the meaning and significance of baptism?
- Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb, and His resurrection from the dead. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. Colossians 2:12-14 MSG
- It’s a symbol of your brand-new life. Baptism is the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart, a commitment that has to be followed through and lived out on a daily basis. It’s meant to show the world that that you love, trust, and have put your hope in Christ. It’s like a wedding ring. Simply putting a wedding ring on my finger would not make me married. Similarly, simply being baptized doesn’t make me a true believer in Christ. Not wearing a wedding ring doesn’t make me unmarried, either. But if I am married and really love my spouse, I would certainly want to wear my wedding ring. I would want the entire world to know my love and my relationship with her. In the same way, if I have trusted Christ to save me from sin, and He is the Lord and joy of my life, then I’ll want everyone to know about it. Baptism is a statement to everyone who sees it that I have trusted Christ for my salvation and I’m committed to living for Him. Baptism does not make you a believer; it shows that you already are one! Baptism does not “save” you; only your faith in Christ does that. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
- It connects you to a new family. Baptism also connects us to the “body of Christ,” His people in the earth. In baptism there is a real sense of being joined with other believers, not just participating in an individual act of our own spiritual journey. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
We believe the example of Jesus is the one we should follow. Jesus was baptized by immersion under water. The book of Acts shows us it was the norm for believers. The Greek word “baptize” means “to immerse or dip under water.”
We believe that every person who has made the decision to follow Christ should be baptized. But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Acts 8:12
We believe that followers of Jesus should be baptized as soon as possible after salvation. It’s a great step forward. New followers in the New Testament were baptized the same day. Those who accepted his message were baptized. Acts 2:41. Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. Acts 8:35-39 NIV
Being baptized is a wonderful experience and a great step forward spiritually. It is a simple way to give your testimony to family and friends by inviting them to celebrate your baptism. If you have not been baptized as a follower of Jesus, I hope you check in with us and be a part of the next incredible celebration of new life on the next baptism day. We’ll all be rejoicing!